Critics say Jeremy Corbyn’s new Brexit position is more fence sitting

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images) - Credit: Getty Images

Politicians from across the political divide have said that Labour still isn not doing enough to stop Brexit.

Chris Leslie, the former Labour MP and now backer of the Independent Group for Change, said: "Corbyn has confirmed that if you vote Labour, you'll get Brexit. His commitment to campaign against Brexit only if the Conservatives are in government simply isn't good enough.

"Brexit - whether a Labour Brexit or a Conservative Brexit - will cost people's jobs, put businesses in jeopardy, and diminish Britain in the eyes of our neighbours. Corbyn's refusal to be honest about that fact is a deep betrayal of the people Labour used to represent."

Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake said the party was still a Brexit party.

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He said: "Labour are still a party of Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn can pretend all he likes that the Labour Party are finally moving towards backing the Liberal Democrat policy of a People's Vote, but it is clear it is still his intention to negotiate a damaging Brexit deal if he gets the keys to number ten.

"Labour must start being transparent with the British people. Any Brexit deal, whoever it is negotiated by, will damage our country. It will mean job losses, problems for our NHS, and more time wasted on not tackling the biggest issues facing the UK.

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"The Liberal Democrats have been unequivocal in our fight to stop Brexit and Corbyn should join us. The only real route out of this mess is a People's Vote, with the option to stay in the EU."

Former Labour MP and Change UK MP Chuka Umunna wrote: "Yet another fudge, where the Labour leadership keep open the door to standing on a pro-Brexit platform in a General Election or supporting it in government.

"The @LibDems are the only party that can get into govt which is 100% committed to stopping Brexit."

Green Party deputy leader Amelia Womack posted: "No deal MUST be taken off the table. I am surprised that it's even a suggestion from the Labour Party to have it on the ballot."

Labour peer and TNE columnist Andrew Adonis tweeted: "Jeremy's letter is unsatisfactory as it doesn't rule out Labour seeking to negotiate a fantasy 'better Brexit' after a general election. Time for weasel words & policy feints is over. Labour is a remain party. We need an unambiguously Remain policy!"

Phil Wilson, Labour MP and a People's Vote supporter, cautiously welcomed the news but said that Jeremy Corbyn needed to actively campaign for a People's Vote.

He said: "One email to Labour members and a press release do not make a campaign. Labour has the chance to speak up for its values and to channel the growing anger in the country about the negation of democracy that is being imposed on us all. Our voters and our members will not tolerate further confusion or foot-dragging. Instead, we now need to join together with all those from across the political spectrum who have long since been demanding that the people get the final say on Brexit.

"This is about the single biggest issue facing our country for a generation and I hope now that Labour will be at the forefront of a campaign to face down this attempt to shut the country out of a decision that will affect our economy, our communities and our children's futures for decades to come.

"If Labour fails to lead at this crucial moment, or falls back into silence on Brexit, then the anger currently felt about the plans to exclude the people from deciding on our future will turn too on our party - and the dismay which fed the disastrous European Parliamentary election results will sink roots that will strangle any hope of winning of the next General Election."

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